Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa DVC preview

Welcome Home! So you’ve made an investment in your future as new Disney Vacation Club Members! It’s not a cheap investment, but when you do the math, it can save you thousands over the years. You took the plunge, and you’re part of the happiest time-share on earth!

Now what?

I’m also a new DVC member, and I’m here to tell you the five things you need to do right now to make the most of your membership!

1 – Book Your Welcome Home Trip

Your first trip home is called your “Welcome Home trip”. You can book this online on your own, but chances are you won’t have much luck getting a good selection because most people have already booked their vacations months ago.

Welcome Home, DVC members!
Welcome Home, DVC members!

Instead of trying to go it alone, call Member Services. Tell them it’s your Welcome Home trip, and they’ll ask you where you want to stay. Don’t hold back! This is the one and only time that they will pull from other inventory to get you what you want!

2 – Get Your Blue Card

After you book your Welcome Home trip, you’ll need to get your Blue Card! DVC Members who buy direct from Disney are eligible for this card, which grants you access to all of the DVC benefits including discounts and special events (more on this later!).

You will get blue cards for everyone who is listed on the deed, but it does take a while for them to show up. If you will be traveling to Disney World soon after you join, you can request a physical card or simply sign in to your DVC account on a website. Show your digital card anywhere that offers a discount, and they will honor it!

3 – Visit Top of the World Lounge

One of the coolest perks that we’ve enjoyed so far is visiting the Top of the World Lounge. This exclusive DVC lounge sits high atop Bay Lake Tower, the DVC section of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Top of the World Lounge is a fun experience exclusive for DVC Members!
Top of the World Lounge is a fun experience exclusive for DVC Members!

To get there, head over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort and cross the air bridge on the fourth-floor concourse to Bay Lake Tower. Walk down the hallway through the lobby of the Tower – just follow the signs – and stop at the desk when you see the elevators. Show your member card, and the Cast Member will open the elevator and send you to the Top of the World! This elevator only stops at these two locations and can only be operated by this Cast Member. Pretty exclusive, right?

Once you’re there, you can enjoy delicious food and beverage options. I recommend the chocolate cake (it’s huge!), nachos, and pretzels. You can also watch Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks from the open-air balcony. The only other place in Disney World that can rival this view is California Grill.

4 – Get Your Perks!

There are so many benefits that come with being a DVC member! As new members, we started talking to experienced DVC members every chance we got – on the bus, waiting in line, everywhere we went! One of the best pieces of advice we heard was “take advantage of your perks”. Sure, you get amazing accommodations for significantly reduced costs, but there’s so much more! The same man who gave us this advice also told us that the Disney Vacation Club isn’t worth the investment if all you do is stay at the hotels and visit the parks.

Here are some of my favorite perks so far:

  • Free watch at Luxury of Time – Next time you’re at Disney Springs, stop by Luxury of Time and show your Blue Card. They’ll verify your identity and give you a free watch! It’s not a super impressive or expensive watch, but it’s free!
  • Shopping Discounts – Everywhere I go, I ask if they give a DVC discount. Most shopping locations including World of Disney offer discounts on merchandise!
  • Dining Discounts – Most table-service restaurants offer a DVC discount.
  • Exclusive MagicBand – Order your DVC MagicBand!
  • Member Magic – sign up for Member Magic events in the Disney Parks! These complimentary events do not require regular admission and allow exclusive access to attractions, rides, special experiences, and dining with other DVC members!
  • Spa DiscountsSenses Spa is an amazing experience, and my DVC discount puts it within reach.
DVC Members get lots of perks beyond just Deluxe Resort accommodation discounts!
DVC Members get lots of perks beyond just Deluxe Resort accommodation discounts!

5 – Get an Annual Pass

Many people think that being DVC members are Florida Residents and can purchase tickets at the Florida Resident price. This isn’t true, but DVC members do get a discount on Annual Passes. The Gold Pass is discounted nearly half off for DVC Members. When I purchased my Pass, I found that visiting just eight days out of the year will make the pass more than worth the cost!

Why? Because I not only get park admission, but I also get all of my PhotoPass photos and additional discounts including on cash room accommodations.

Bonus – Enjoy Your Vacations!

Finally, enjoy the next 50 years of magical vacations!

Are you a DVC Member? What’s your best advice for new members?